Nothing quite says Passover like a delicious steaming bowl of matzo ball soup. It’s also long been a favored as a Jewish grandma’s cold remedy. For me, spring just wouldn’t be spring without my all time favorite Passover Matzo Ball Soup recipe.
Passover is the Biblical account of Exodus, the freeing of Hebrew slaves from Egypt.
The Passover meal, called Seder, is all about honoring and celebrating Jewish history. Deeply symbolic, the foods served have Biblical and historic significance. In many cases, Seder recipes have been around for centuries.
Jewish cookbook author Joan Nathan said speaking of Passover, “It’s really the defining story of Judaism. Everybody in some way can identify with it – Jewish or not. I like the tradition of going back to a lot of these old recipes that have been here for centuries and centuries and sort of realizing who I am and where I came from.”
Matzo ball soup recipes vary, but I’m particularly fond of this one. In fact, while not Jewish, I make it every year during Passover and look forward to it year around! It’s a lighter soup with a perfect blend of flavors.
Passover Matzo Ball Soup Recipe with Vegetables
3 tablespoons butter
2 large onions, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
3 leeks, cleaned and chopped, white part only
1/2 cup celery, chopped
1 small turnip, peeled and chopped
1 small rutabaga, peeled and chopped
1/2 medium to small green cabbage, shredded
11 cups chicken broth
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried basil
salt and pepper to taste
2 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
Melt butter in large soup pot. Add vegetables and saute, stirring for about 15 minutes or until soft. Add broth, peppercorns, thyme and basil.
Cover and bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for about 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Strain, reserving vegetables. Add as many vegetables to broth as desired.
May be refrigerated up to 5 days. May be frozen.
Before serving, season to taste. Add chopped tomatoes and matzoh balls.
Matzo Ball Recipe
4 large eggs
3 tablespoons canola oil
1 cup matzoh meal
1/3 cup chicken broth
1/4 cup finely ground almonds
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger
In a medium bowl, beat the eggs and oil together. Add the matzoh, broth, almonds, salt, parsley, and ginger. Stir well. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
With wet hands, form into 1 1/2 inch balls.
In a dutch oven, bring 4 quarts of salted water to boil. Reduce to a simmer and drop into liquid. Cover the pot and cook at a low simmer for 20 minutes. Do not lift the lid while cooking or the matzo balls will boil instead of steam and will become touch.
Drain and add to soup.
May be refrigerated in soup to cover or frozen in soup to cover.
Makes about 28 matzo balls.